Cash Cow Crusade
By: Casey Anderson, 15 June 2003
“The gambling rule is not vague.” These are the words of NCAA Director of
Hypocrisy, Bill Saum.
Rick Neuheisel’s trial in the court of public opinion is now in session, the
not-necessarily-honorable (fill in sensational sports magazine/website here)
presiding. Keep him, fire him. Liar, gambler, friend, family man, Hedges,
Brand . . .Recess. It’s story time, children.
Once, when NCAA was still a smiling youngster, he and his sister, Title 9,
had an argument. When NCAA realized he couldn’t win with words, he balled
up a fist hit Title 9 in the chin. NCAA’s father, Lawyer, sat him down and
explained, “Hitting people, son, does not solve problems. You’ll need to be
punished.” Lawyer then grabbed NCAA, put him over his knee, and proceeded
to beat NCAA. NCAA cried, Lawyer felt proud for being a good father, and
they all lived dysfunctionally ever after.
The NCAA believes that, in these morally ambiguous times, the nation is
in need of a role model. Fathers, mothers, teachers, doctors, and firemen
are all looking to the National Collegiate Athletic Association to be their
champion. But in its pretense-driven desire to wage a crusade for the
young, impressionable minds of the reckless American youth, the NCAA has
once again found itself nipping at the same dirty fingernails that pump the
quarters into its coin slot.
Basketball is the black spots on the football-white cash cow of college
athletics. While the lawyers continue to craft by-law after convoluted
by-law and wave the dreaded “lack of institutional control” bat
threateningly at every school from the redwood forests to the dark green
waters, college basketball continues to put meat on the NCAA table.
Unfortunately, this cash cow has e-coli.
It is no longer 1983, and regular season college basketball can’t manage to
find it’s way off of ESPN 3, getting blasted in the ratings by the
televising of high school hoops and extreme rollerblading. In fact, college
basketball is treading down the shadowed path of its baseball counterpart;
while the best players go straight to the pros from high school (see high
school phenom Lebron James), it is only the 2nd tier of high
school all-stars who bother to attend college. In addition, players who
manage to make a name for themselves in the college game (see Syracuse’s
Carmelo Anthony) bail out the second they get a whiff of NBA dollars. And
who can blame them? So, the black spots on cash cow, then, come from
college basketball’s saving grace, the NCAA tournament.
The NCAA tournament continues to draw millions of housewives and computer
jockeys to their Sony Trinitrons, translating into billions in revenue (see
picture of Miles Brand with pinky finger in corner of mouth, caption reading
MWA HA HA HA!). News flash: Donna Reed and Joe in the corner cubicle aren’t
big Blue Devil fans. They are, however, quite smitten with a certain Mr.
Benjamin Franklin, and as many of his twin brothers as they can get their
sinful little fingers on. The tourney is where the bucks are, and the
ratings (and, therefore, money) are fueled by the nation’s love of gambling,
which the NCAA claims to take a hard-line stance against.
And cigarette companies are genuinely worried that smokers might get cancer.
The University of Washington’s head football coach was recently fired
because he, like the rest of the country, participated in what the NCAA
considers a highly illegal college basketball tournament pool. Apparently
this action has demonstrated once and for all that, yes, Rick Neuheisel is
indeed Satan. Or at least one of his henchmen. Reality check; if it were
not for gambling, a massive amount of the NCAA’s revenue would cease to
exist. Perhaps the NCAA is just upset that Neuheisel didn’t place his bet
through one of the Official Casinos of the NCAA Tournament?
So, to end the story, our
little boy NCAA has become a man. Learning that, like violence, gambling is
a bad, bad thing, he punishes each of his children when they are caught
betting on sports. Today he punishes Ricky, taking his allowance away and
sending him to bed early. After a hard day’s work, NCAA sits down at the
living room table, opening the mail, worried that his next check from Vegas
may not have arrived.